November 29, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “The Keeper Of Traken Part 1”

The Fourth Doctor. "The Keeper of Traken," Episode One.

So, it’s just the Doctor and Adric on the TARDIS for right now.  And I can’t quite figure out if the Doctor finds Adric annoying or delightful.  His facial expressions switch back and forth whenever Adric acts like he’s a partner and not a kid, but then switches to pure delight whenever Adric admits he’s not in charge or something.  It’s actually rather interesting.

But for his first mission on the TARDIS, Adric gets to see a planet the Doctor may or may not have visited before.  It’s the planet Traken, the center of an empire founded on, well, goodness and kindness and the like.

That is not how empires work.

But the planet is apparently so nice, when mega-evil baddie Melkur stepped foot on the surface, he froze in place like a statue.  He’s been there so long, the people treat him like a deity of some kind.

The good people of Traken pray to an evil monster for guidance?  Oooooooo-kay.

Anyway, the place is watched over by the Keeper of Traken, a very old man who suddenly appears on the TARDIS looking for the Doctor’s help.  He says it will be dangerous, but the TARDIS was going there anyway and neither the Doctor nor Adric claims to have programmed it to go there, so that happened.

Considering the Doctor was trying to go back to Gallifrey because…well, I don’t know.  He’s supposed to take Romana there, but she’s not around anymore.  So, I don’t get it.

Anyway, the Keeper is dying, and he’s concerned there’s some evil in his chosen successor, Consul Tremas, Tremas’s Melkur-worshiping wife Kassia, and their daughter Nyssa.  The Keeper would like the Doctor to check in on things, make sure Melkur isn’t going to wake up or something.

So, the Doctor goes there just as the various Consuls are deep in debate over some problems.  They know there’s something bad coming, the Keeper hinted as much at Tremas and Kassia’s wedding, and then some oddball and a kid shows up.  So, yeah, the Consuls all think the Doctor is behind all their problems.  He says where the TARDIS is, but it was parked next to Melkur.  And Melkur…well, he’s alive.  His eyes flashed and the TARDIS vanished.  So, there goes the Doctor’s first bit of proof.

But they can ask the Keeper!  But when the Keeper appears, he sees Melkur poking his head through the door, calls out evil, and disappeared.

So, yeah, no one else saw Melkur.  That means the Trakens are possibly gonna execute the Doctor after all.

And you know, as cheap costumes go, Melkur looks rather impressive.  I mean, he doesn’t look like something that can move, and yet, he does.

Maybe he’ll move somewhere where everyone else can see him and get the Doctor and Adric off the hook.  Well, at least the Doctor.  If Adric wants to act like the Doctor’s equal, let him figure his own way out.